New Foreign Nationals unit opens in Bonaire prison

KRALENDIJK – On Wednesday, June 5, the new unit for foreign nationals at the Judicial Institution Caribbean Netherlands (JICN) was officially opened. In the prison, State Secretary Van der Burg cut the ribbon, officially opening the special wing.

Interested parties were able to familiarize themselves with the new cells intended for foreign nationals on the island. Foreign nationals can be detained for various reasons. In some cases, a foreign national may be detained during the asylum procedure. Additionally, a foreign national who, according to the law, is not allowed to be on Bonaire and does not leave voluntarily, can be detained under certain conditions. Each cell in the new unit accommodates two detainees. They can use a toilet, shower, bed with a fan, refrigerator, and microwave in the cell.

During the opening ceremony, the speakers emphasized the importance of human dignity, safety, and reintegration within the prison. “The JICN is a fully-fledged institution that operates on the principles of relational security and procedural justice,” said Toon Molleman, Deputy Director of the Prison System and Foreign Nationals Detention. “We aim to achieve more than just retribution.”

The new unit is specially designed to meet modern detention standards. According to the Caribbean Netherlands Government Service, there is sufficient living space, good sanitary facilities, ventilation, and access to fresh air. The institution also claims to provide adequate medical care and psychological support. All of this is to ensure that foreign nationals arriving in Bonaire are treated in a humane and just manner.

Van der Burg mentioned in his speech that he had visited the Bonaire prison four times in his role as State Secretary. “In a few weeks, I will no longer be State Secretary,” said Van der Burg. “The opening of this unit is a real milestone. My compliments to everyone who contributed to this new facility.”

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